Volunteer Spotlight: Lauren and Eric Mucci – TNR Chairs
Lauren Mucci started volunteering at Danbury Animal Welfare Society in 2008 as a cat socializer. Within a few months she began fostering kittens at the home she shared with her husband, Eric Mucci. Eric officially became a volunteer in 2018, but his journey with DAWS began 10 years prior. They both have become deeply involved with DAWS and the community over the years.
Lauren and Eric are our TNR co-chairs. TNR, also called TNVR, stands for Trap-Neuter (or spay)-Vaccinate-Return, which is the only humane way to stabilize feral colonies through reducing overpopulation, disease, injuries and death. “We believe that TNR saves lives and therefore is an integral program to our organization, our community and the feral cat population. We love being able to see the results of a stable colony and how happy the cats and public are once the trapping is complete. There are less injuries from fighting, less sickness and most importantly, less kittens!”
Lauren and Eric trap, foster pregnant feral cats, bottle feed orphaned kittens, foster unsocialized kittens, attend adoption events, process applications and complete adoptions. “There is no better feeling than rescuing a pregnant feral, having her give birth, and knowing that the cycle has been broken because all of those kittens will be altered and adopted to loving homes where they will be spoiled and the mother will be TNR’d and never have to give birth again.” shares Lauren and Eric.
TNR may seem intimidating, but with some simple training anyone can do it. “The first time we trapped was in March 2018. We were about to get hit with a brutal Nor’easter and it was already snowing heavily when we went to feed at our colony. Out of the corner of our eyes we see 2 brown tabby kittens pop their heads out of the brush. We ran over to the DAWS and borrowed 2 traps and were able to get them both before nightfall. We aptly named them Storm and Lightening and they were adopted together through the Cattery after some much needed socialization. That was the beginning of our love of trapping. We compare trapping to fishing, sometimes you catch something and sometimes you don’t, but the thrill when you do keeps you coming back. We are so fortunate to belong to an organization that holds the same values as us by helping cats and kittens right in our own backyard (sometime literally). We encourage anyone who thinks they might have an interest in getting involved to reach out to us.”
Lauren is originally from Carmel, NY/Ridgefield, CT and Eric is originally from Brookfield, CT. They both currently reside in Danbury with their DAWS rescue dog Saké, and their resident DAWS and former feral colony cats, ranging from 6 months to 19 years young! When they aren’t volunteering for DAWS, they are feeding their feral colonies and working full-time jobs. In their spare time, they enjoy travel, biking, hiking with the dog, cooking, Netflix and spending time with their resident animals.Gina Amenta, Director of Operations adds, “Lauren and Eric are the quintessential definition of the word “Rescue”. Their tireless efforts in fostering and maintaining our TNR program has saved countless cats and kittens.” To learn more about the TNR program please email: TNR@daws.org. For other volunteer opportunities please email firstname.lastname@example.org